New Mexico commuter ridership continues to fall

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Rail Runner ridership continued to decline in fiscal 2018, marking its eighth straight year of decreases, and a report issued ahead of the start of the state legislative session suggests ways to stem the decline.

The Associated Press reports that the more than 750,000 rides in the most recent fiscal year represent a fall of 37 percent from the system’s peak of 1.2 million riders in fiscal 2010. The most recent figure is the lowest since the service was extended to Santa Fe, N.M., in 2008.

The state Legislative Finance Committee’s report suggests improvements in infrastructure and travel times, along with a  moratorium on new stations, could help the commuter system. Surveys indicate that the public cites inconvenient schedules and long travel times as the most common reasons for not riding the train.

The 97-mile, 15-station commuter service runs from Santa Fe to Belen, N.M. On weekdays, it offers four round trips over its full distance, with three additional round trips between Albuquerque and Belen and four round trips from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.

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